Title: The Wraith of Jack (1/?)
By: S.M.
Rating: PG-13 (may get higher)
Warning: for this part, supernatural
Disclaimer: I don't own POTC; all belong to Elliott, Rossio, etc.
Summary: There are individuals who seek to say "goodbye" or who are in severe danger - what was his reason for coming?
A/N: Thank god for my friend and her "Scary Almanac;" it brought inspiration!


Part One: Not Alone

----------
The candles slowly faded out to leave the room only slightly illuminated by the moonlight. Within a matter of seconds, the temperature fell to an unsettling chilling degree.

Will Turner moved to lie on his back and opened his eyes. The surprising coldness reached to his bones. He stood from the bed and went to the window. No wind; not even the faintest hint of a breeze. An ominous feeling arose within him. His body trembled as cool beads of sweat formed on his skin. There was an unspeakable fear, a realization that something was amiss, and he shook his head from the thought of sensing a presence in the area with him. He turned around and a jolt of shock surged through his anatomy, creating a loud gasp to escape his opened mouth.

Jack Sparrow was standing by the doorway, observing Will intently. His gaze was stern, yet soft; it pierced Will so intensely that it troubled him greatly.

"Jack, what are you doing here?" the young man questioned and began to slowly walk toward the pirate.

Jack was unresponsive.

"Did you hear me?"

"Take care of her, William," Jack whispered gently.

"What?" As he drew closer, Will noticed that he was becoming colder. "Take care of who?"

The rogue's expression was entirely solemn. His eyes were tinged with red and were swollen as if he had been weeping.

"Jack, take care of who?"

"The Pearl."

Will's eyes widened and he found himself speechless for a brief moment. "The Pearl? That makes no sense."

"I'm giving her to you, William."

"Jack…..What's wrong? What is it?"

"You always had the potential to be Captain."

A tear fell down Jack's cheek and he inhaled a rattling breath. As Will reached a comforting hand out to the pirate's shoulder, Jack spoke quietly, dejectedly, "Goodbye, William."

He faded like dissipating fog.

Will was rooted to the floor. His quaking hand groped about the spot where Jack had just been standing as if expecting to touch him.

"Jack? Jack."

There was no answer; he did not believe there would be one anyway. He swallowed hard and looked quickly about the room. The Caribbean warm started to weave its way back into the darkened space, yet shivers still slid down his spine.

Unhurriedly, his feet shuffled toward the bed where he sat and simply stared at the wall across from him. Numerous times he glanced to the place where Jack had been, but there was nothing; not even a trace that someone had even been present.

"I must…...He could've been……It's not possible," he thought aloud.

The image of the pirate haunted him as he reluctantly gave in to sleep.


Part Two: Disposed

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It was difficult to shake the event of the previous night from his mind as he made his way to the smithy. Will was a tad jumpy. Numerous times his eyes darted about the crowd in suspicion. Suddenly, the familiar cold enveloped him, causing him to turn completely about until he found the pirate a few feet away. He blinked to confirm that he was seeing Jack once again, but he stopped himself from going to him. A thought had entered his head – perhaps if he pretended that he did not notice Jack at all, the man would disappear. The sunken appearance on the pirate's countenance, however, made him unable to follow through. Alas, the instant he moved, Jack vanished.

Will wiped his eyes and rubbed his cheeks. "This isn't happening. I am not going mad."

----------
If he wished to discuss the absurd matters with someone, he placed his best bet on the man who had secluded himself from society. Surrounded by trees and various shrubs, the small house was nestled away at the top of a hill.

Will arrived at the place, knocked on the entrance, and waited patiently. After a brief period, the door opened to reveal James Norrington. He had retired from the Royal Fleet and hardly entered the town; he was content in not conversing with others unless necessary. He desired peace and solitude to serve as a remedy for the ache no one knew of.

His garb was as plain as Will's; nothing like his formal Navy wear. The brown hair was no longer covered by a wig, but rather tied back loosely with a blue piece of cloth and a beard had begun to grow on his face.

"Quite a surprise to see you, Mr. Turner," he stated blankly.

Will rolled his eyes. "Don't you think we're passed that?"

"A surprise to see you, Will," James corrected himself.

"Thank you. I came because I have a matter to discuss with you."

James stepped away as an invite for Will to come in. He shut the door and led Will to a seating area.

"What might it be?" he asked uninterestedly.

"We've seen a lot of things, James. But what I've seen lately has been one of the more disturbing ones. I wondered if you have experienced it too.""

James poured himself a shot of rum and offered one to Will as well as he said, "You've seen Jack."

Will was flabbergasted. "How did you know?"

"I've seen him too. It's a wraith."

"A wraith?"

"A ghost of a person that is alive, yet is either in trouble, staring death in the eyes, or some other reason. Just ignore him and he'll go away. That's what I did. I haven't been bothered since."

"How can you ignore him if that could be the reason why he's visiting us?" Will inquired, slightly testy.

James stared at him with little concern.

"I need your help, James. We can find him. You have better connections than I, which may be a good help."

The former Commodore turned his head and sighed. It was a long moment before he replied, "Alright. I'm in. What's your plan to find him?"

Will smiled. "A woman. She's like a goddess."

----------
A grunt escaped Jack Sparrow's cracked and swollen lips after being forcefully flung onto the cold, metal table. His head was swimming; there were no coherent thoughts, realizations, or anything of importance. He could only concentrate on the terrible suffering encompassing his entire body. Everything else was simply a vague mist of fog.

Leather straps secured his legs and arms tightly against the table. The final strap went across his forehead to keep his head from moving.

There was a dripping noise in the distance – off in the darkness of the barren room – that sounded like water. His mouth salivated at the idea; his throat burned. He could not remember the last time he had had a decent drink of the wonderful liquid.

More then a dozen candles were lit about the room, and his bruised eyes attempted to take in the scenery. It appeared to be a place for medical use. Surgeon's instruments adorned the table next to him from what he could discern.

"What are we supposed to take?" a voice echoed in his ears.

"I believe the order was for….."

Jack moaned faintly and coughed weakly. He was barely aware of the firm grip around the top of his right thumb. Despite that, he distinguished a thin, shiny object in one of the men's hand. It was pressed against the base of his thumb and all at once, he let out a hoarse wail.

Back and forth. Back and forth. Like a savage saw. The tendons were severing. The bone was slowly breaking. He constantly cried out from the agony and writhed pitifully under the bonds. Droplets of warm water streaked from his anguished eyes.

"There," a man finally said after the drawn-out amputation as he ripped the last bit of the connected tissue to present the single thumb to his accomplice.

Jack's fiercely bleeding hand was sanitized and wrapped with a coarse cloth. He panted helplessly and quiet whimpers continuously came from his opened mouth. The soldiers strode to his left side and the strong grasp returned.

"Start at the knuckle this time."

"Hmm……Could definitely be interesting."

"Just cut the rest of it after the top's gone."

Jack was on the borderline of becoming entirely unconscious. He pleaded for it.

The blade sliced easily through the skin and instantly hit the knuckle. Sawing away, neither man seemed phased by the blood gushes or the horrible screams coming from the pirate's raw throat.

"There's the tip."

An almost inaudible thump sounded when it hit the bottom of the small bowl that the right digit was in.

The remainder of the finger followed in a bloody mess, and his wound was cared for just as the other. Jack sobbed and shivered uncontrollably. Everything faded from black to white……black to white……

"….Drag him to the cell, I guess. He doesn't look like he can make it on foot."

"You think those will go next?"

The next thing Jack knew, he was on the stone floor and being pulled away by his wrists.


Part Three: "Survival"

----------
The little sloop was tied off and the two men treaded up the stairs quietly. James glanced around, taking in the peaceful area enclosed by trees and the gentle flow of the river. Will went into the shack first, causing Tia Dalma to finish hanging a jar from the ceiling quickly before turning around. A broad grin showed her blackened teeth and a small sigh of relief escaped her even blacker lips.

"I'tis a joyful t'ing to see you again, William Turner," she greeted warmly in her silky voice.

Will smiled and nodded his head. "As it is for me seeing you."

James stood behind and to the side of Will, appearing somewhat uneasy. The enchantress moved in front of him and he met her unwavering gaze.

"'Tis a good t'ing dat you 'ave come, James Norrington."

His eyes narrowed in befuddlement. She stared at him for a minute more before she strolled to the table and sat down. Will followed – and after a moment's hesitation, so did James – and they took a seat across from her.

"It is a shame that our reason for coming is not happier," Will started. "We believe Jack is in danger. His….living spirit has visited us both on several occasions recently."

An expression of grief shadowed Tia Dalma's previously cheerful features. "Him be in an evil, dark place; one dat him should never 'ave been taken to. 'De pain him will come to know will be worse dan any him 'ave known in 'de past."

"What have you seen?"

"Not as much as I 'ad hoped. Him be locked away for 'de world to forget."

Will was about to speak, but he paused when she carefully snatched a handful of various animal claws. She shook them mildly and uttered words in a foreign language. Before long, she dropped them onto the hard surface. They scattered about and abruptly settled in positions as if forced.

"Him be here," she stated and pointed to the claw in the middle.

----------
His lungs screamed. His body was trapped in a burning inferno; his feet spawned blisters and cuts. One or two fell along the way – their legs and will were overtaken by physical exhaustion – and he hated the dreadful sounds of the harsh beatings that were fast to follow. It was a dwindling part of the compassion side of human nature that pressured him to aid those who could not continue, but the survival instincts always won out. There was no way any man could help another in such a situation. To each his own. They had to be left. Run to survive.

"Right! Right!" the four soldiers shouted from atop their horses.

The whips they possessed commenced their loud cracking noises as they came down on various men's backs. The pack of wearied prisoners shifted their direction, and Jack hoped that the lash would not find him.

After eternity, they arrived to the main compound and were herded inside.

"Enjoy your exercise, boys?" a captor questioned with a snicker.

It was difficult for Jack not to collapse the instant he stepped into the hellish building. He was able to refrain from doing so until he was securely returned to his cell. He dropped to the floor in a sweating, panting, overworked heap, as the iron-bar door was slammed shut. It would be incredibly easy to pass out, yet he knew the consequence if he did. They would skip him.

His cell was at the end of the hall, making it a long while in his mind before the soldier showed. Jack rushed to the bars when the man came into view and opened his mouth by one of the square openings. The man dipped the metal ladle into the bucket of water and Jack waited eagerly for the refreshment.

The instant he felt the cool liquid on his busted lip and the rush of it down his throat like a waterfall sent him into bliss. It was absolutely wonderful.

But all too soon, it was gone. The spoon had emptied itself completely into his mouth. There would be no more water for an extensive amount of time.

He hauled himself to the middle of his cell and stretched out on his back. It would make no difference to him if there was hay covering the stone floor or not; he could not feel its minute cushion anymore.

He lifted his right hand and stared through barely opened eyelids at it. The bandage had not been removed; he was afraid to. He knew the sight would simply make him vomit, and he could not afford to lose any of the few contents his stomach contained. They had swollen, his hands, and were slightly discolored. The distress they caused was still great, but at the moment, they did not compare to the pain in his legs and chest.

Like most of his fellow captives, he slipped happily into unconsciousness.

----------
Leisurely, Jack had begun to learn the names of the familiar faces.

Bradley – brought the water about to the cells. Sometimes in small cups, other times it was just from the ladle.
Hansen, Carter, Daniels, and Garner – the four horsemen. Wielded the whips during the runs and would often remove a prisoner or two from their cells for a punishment.
Wilson and Newton – the ground soldiers that would brutalize the ones who fell during the runs. Often seen carrying clubs or other weapons.
Johnson – the "Devil's Doctor." Surgeon who performed various, horrendous medical treatments; he could amputate a limb and have a luscious lunch afterward. Nothing phased him on the operating table.

There were plenty more men patrolling the campus, but Jack had few skirmishes with them, if at all.

The man who occupied the cell next to him was thrown in, and he remained strewn out on the ground. Jack looked at him with concern and curiosity. What had happened to this one?

He inched toward the iron-bar divider and hissed quietly to get the male's attention.

"What do ya want?" the neighbor responded.

"What's your name?"

"Robert."

"Robert, would you mind tellin' me what your event was this time?"

Robert sat up and moved closer to the other pirate. "An interrogation. They want to know more about the buccaneers that roam the area. They're not even real soldiers. Well, some were former ones and others are still somewhat in the Fleet, but they're their own army. They hunt down pirates and bring them here to their secret prison; they even capture honest sailors just for the hell of it. All devil's work by my reckonin'."

Jack took in the words slowly and nodded his head. "I see."

"We're never goin' to see freedom again."

Jack smiled faintly. "I don't count on it either."

He started to move away, but Robert's inquiry made him stop.

"What's your name?"

"Jack."

Robert sighed and a tiny grin pried his lips. "Welcome to Hell, Jack."

The smile Jack had grew. "Same to you, mate."

----------
Will examined the sparkling glass bottle he held. Before taking their leave, Tia Dalma presented it to him and instructed, "Make 'im drink a little of it each day until it be gone." He did not doubt that it contained a magical element that would speed Jack to recovery if need be.

It was not the only request Tia Dalma made of him. He and James were to find a Navy uniform; its use would present itself in time. The simplest way was to return to Port Royal in order for James to retrieve his retired one. Neither understood why, but Tia Dalma was always right; it was never good to question her ways.

The next thing on the agenda was Tortuga. If the Black Pearl and her crew were to be found, it would be at that island.

It had to be.

----------
Run.

Run.

Do not stop.

His skin was cold, but his insides were fire. The rain had not ceased its intensity, and so bare feet were covered in mud. There was yelling, threatening, but he could barely hear.

He did not even realize he was stumbling until he landed on the wet ground. His mind demanded he get up, but his body would not have it.

The first blow was to his side, making him curl into a fetal position. The next was to his head. Stomach. Anywhere. Everywhere. He could vaguely comprehend their orders; it was all a haze.

The beating finally ended when he discovered himself on his feet once again. As he commenced running, Daniels loomed behind him and snapped the whip at his raw back several times. Jack winced and bit his lip, but he did not give in to the grueling fatigue.

His head was bleeding. His nose was fractured. His ribs were bruised. His legs felt detached. But he pushed on.


Part Four: "A Tragic Loss"

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"Separate the ones that fell from the rest and keep them out here. Put the others back."

Wilson and Newton heeded the order from Garner hurriedly. They pulled five men total from the group and shuffled everyone else inside.

The rain had increased its viciousness. It was a torrential curtain of water from the angry clouds above. The captives were shivering violently and awaited whatever fate they were to be dealt.

Jack glanced from side to side to discern who else was with him. There was not a familiar face that he found.

"Strip down and give your clothes to Hansen," Garner shouted.

They had taken practically everything that he had had when he arrived, leaving him with only his shirt and trousers like most of the others. He was unwilling to part with the drenched garments, but he had no choice. With quaking hands, he removed his garb and passed it along to Hansen. He hugged himself tightly as he trembled incessantly. It was a magnificent feeling to be washed away of the dirt, blood, and humiliation. But his frigid form constantly reminded him of the jarring situation, and the degradation returned as Garner, Hansen, Daniels, and Carter paced about in front of the line and examined the naked men.

"You cannot sit, always stand. The amount of time you spend out here is determined by how well you all cooperate. If one of you collapses, no one is to help him. Both will be punished," Garner commanded.

Jack breathed unevenly and closed his eyes. He felt nauseous.

The minutes ticked by at a wretched pace. By his clock, they had been standing in the rain and muck for an hour or so.

"I can't anymore," the male beside him huffed almost inaudibly.

Jack turned his head and watched him totter. "You can do it, mate," he assured in a shaking voice. "Surely just a little longer until we can go inside."

"No. No. I ca-"

The man started to drop, but Jack caught him before he landed on the muddy ground. Carter was in front of him before he knew it.

"What did Garner say?" the soldier spat vehemently.

"I thought-"

He was silenced by a powerful slap. The unconscious form in his arms was tossed to the side as Carter grabbed Jack's wrist and speedily led him from the group.

Daniels joined Carter, and they pulled Jack to a tall, wooden post. There were shackles attached to it that hung down; Jack's wrists were hoisted up above his head and cuffed in them.

"At least he's one of the better lookin' ones," Daniels voiced. "Who's first, boys?"

"I am."

Garner stepped behind Jack and undid his trousers. "Don't defy an order again," he hissed into the pirate's ear.

He penetrated Jack roughly, creating a strangled yelp to come from the rogue. Garner thrust relentlessly within him as he held Jack's hips firmly.

The sound of the rain drifted away. The ugly grunts from behind vanished. Jack could only hear the aching thump of his heart and the shameful whimpers he emitted. The cool droplets of water from the sky disguised his own as they leaked from his sorrowful brown eyes.

He felt Garner ejaculate inside him and pull away. Someone took his place.

The mortification intensified as the three others defiled him. The last left him horribly sore and utterly weak.

The prisoners in line were taken into the building, however Jack was trapped at the pole.

It was two days before he was released from the shackles. His limp, dehydrated being was carried to his cell and flung to the floor.

----------
It was never a good thing to be near the surgeon's lair.

Jack was hauled into the room for his second visit.

He sat on the table – unable to move from being held by Wilson, Daniels, Carter, and Newton – and quaked from the fear of what would be the outcome.

"Wonder what he'll do this time," Daniels said bitterly as he brushed Jack's hair behind his shoulders.

Jack flinched at the touch, but remained sedated. Lips ghosted over his cheek and jaw. He shut his eyes and soon it was gone.

Johnson had entered.

"You want him strapped down?" Carter asked.

"No. He can sit up," Johnson answered with a completely serious face. "I don't feel like using the straps today."

"Do you need all of us then?" Wilson questioned.

"Most likely."

The "Devils Doctor" went to the darkened side of the area and shifted objects about. As he did so, he instructed, "Might as well take his clothes off now."

It was something the soldiers took pleasure in doing. In mere seconds Jack was nude, and he detested the hungry expressions of the men surrounding him.

When Johnson entered the lighted space once more, he wore an apron and a handkerchief over his nose and mouth. Jack stared at him with wide, terrified eyes. There was only one tool lying on the tray, a large one, and he refused to contemplate what was to come.

"Carter and Wilson – keep hold of his arms and torso," Johnson stated. "Newton and Daniels – keep hold of the legs." He paused before adding, "Especially the right."

Jack could not hold it in a minute more. He burst into tears. He knew now what the surgeon was planning.

Johnson took the jagged amputation saw in his hand and positioned the blade a few inches above the middle of Jack's right thigh. The pirate attempted to thrash about, yet the grips on him were too strong.

There was no warning. Johnson pressed the saw against the skin and moved it forward. Jack yelled boisterously. The instrument was drawn back, leisurely beginning its journey through the leg.

"Seems a bit blunt," Johnson muttered. "It will take quite a bit longer."

Blood spurted from the wound and sprayed the apron and cloth covering Johnson's visage. He paid no attention to it.

Jack screamed as loudly as he could and squirmed beneath the men's hands. He watched the saw ripping into his flesh for a brief moment, the sight producing vomit in his mouth. He swallowed it down and turned his head.

The agonizing wails morphed into rasping whimpers and moans. Those became incoherent mumbles as his mind blacked out every few minutes. He could not form a thought anymore. His mind shut down. Agony engulfed him.

After an hour of sawing away at Jack's leg, the bloodied limb was removed entirely and placed on the tray. The surgeon's tool followed, and Johnson admired his work.

"Not too bad. Just need to bandage it up and whatnot. I could use a rum after. How about you boys?"

Jack's head slumped back and he passed out.


Part Five: "Wake the Fallen"

----------
The bowl of watery soup was untouched. It had not left the spot where Bradley delivered it thirty minutes ago.

Jack sat with his back against the cold wall and stared at it solemnly. He did not think it was possible, but his appetite had disappeared. It had been three days since he last ate the unpleasant mush. In addition he had started to reject the ladle of water.

The change did not go unnoticed. As a response, the cruelty of his daily beatings increased dramatically.

Bradley came to stand in front of Jack's cell, and he sighed from spotting the declined food. He gazed at the prisoner for a period before inquiring, "Why aren't you eating?"

Jack slowly met the soldier's eyes and kept silent.

"Just one bite, eh? You're making it worse for yourself."

Jack turned the proposal over before he crawled to the bars. He picked up the dish with quivering hands and tipped it toward his mouth. A minute amount was allowed down his throat before he set the bowl on the ground.

"You sure you don't want anymore?" Bradley asked.

Jack shook his head.

The barrier was unlocked and swiftly closed once Bradley took the meal away. As he departed, he heard the pirate heave miserably.

----------
The uniform had slipped on easily; it was like he never quit.

James stared at the forbidding building as his heart pounded faster.

"Are we sure this is what the Navy wardrobe is for?" he said and turned to Will beside him.

Will shrugged. "It makes the most sense. Can you do this?"

"I'll be fine. I can do it."

"We've got your back if things go bad," Gibbs reminded him.

James surveyed the crew of the Black Pearl who had rowed with them from the ship to the immense island. They were to remain outside as backup force if need be. The pistols were ready and swords were unsheathed.

"Alright," James whispered and took a deep breath. "I'm going."

----------
There had not been a confrontation yet. James wandered the gloomy halls, his ears alert for any sort of noise.

The place was like a maze. So many turns and dead ends. Perhaps it had served another purpose in a former life.

The sudden sound of footsteps reached him, and he glanced hurriedly about for a place to hide. There was nothing.

He swallowed, kept his head turned upward, and walked with confidence as if he belonged. The man came about the corner and strolled along. When he passed James, he merely nodded in acknowledgement and went on. James let out an temendous sigh of relief. He studied the man's attire and there was no doubt anymore that Tia Dalma's request for the Navy uniform was for this occasion.

He descended a staircase and drifted forward. In a minute or so, he arrived at a long hall adorned with jail cells.

He hesitated before beginning a trek to the other end. As he passed each cell, he observed the occupant briefly. Jack was nowhere.

He peered into the last one on the right and stepped closer. The captive was lying on his stomach with his head turned toward James. The portion of his countenance showing was bleeding, bruised, and battered to such a drastic degree that James was uncertain as to whether it was Jack or not. He looked harder at the person and though the beads were gone from the hair, the black mane was as it had been when he last saw the individual.

"Oh god, Jack," he breathed.

He jogged to where he had entered from and searched frantically for keys. His hand landed on a ring containing many, and he quickly returned to the end cell. After numerous tries, he discovered the correct key and went in. Cautiously, he knelt beside the motionless form and placed a gentle hand on the man's shoulder.

"Jack? Jack, can you hear me?"

There was no answer.

"Jack," his voice trembled, "Wake up. Wake up, damn you. Jack."

A soft whimper was the response.

"Come on, Jack. I need you to open your eyes. Look at me."

Another groan emitted itself from Jack's cracked lips. He inhaled a small breath and cocked his head ever so slightly in order to see his company with his right eye; the left was swollen shut. James smothered a sound of alarm. The pirate did not seem recognizable.

"J….Jack, it's me. James Norrington."

Jack was quiet as he scrutinized the friendly visage. A lengthy moment passed before he muttered almost inaudibly, "James." A very faint smile came to his lips. "James Norrington."

James nodded. "Yes. Yes, it's me. I've come for you."

"…..No. You're not really here. He wants me dead. He wouldn't save me."

"I swear to you, I'm here. Right here."

"…...James….."

"Yes? What is it?"

"It's not worth it."

"What do you mean?"

"It's not worth savin' me. It won't be long until I'm dead here. What difference is it where I die?"

"You're not going to die. Besides, wouldn't you rather meet your demise aboard the Pearl? She's waiting for you right outside, Jack."

A wave of sadness washed over him as he saw a tear trickle down from Jack's suffering amber orb.

"Even if she is, I can't do her any good anymore. Have you not noticed, Jamie?"

James opened his mouth to speak, but closed it as he let his eyes travel over the pirate's body. Abruptly, his heart skipped a beat and he ceased to breathe. The right leg of Jack's trousers was resting on the floor with nothing to cover. The limb was gone. Severed entirely.

The former Commodore was speechless. There were no words to be said, for it would not comfort the abused male.

"I can't defend her like I used to. My swordfightin' would be horrible," Jack uttered with a light chuckle.

He grimaced as he held up his hands. James sunk into the floor. The thumbs had been amputated as well.

"Oh lord, Jack," he whispered. "I'm sorry."

The tiny smile returned. "It doesn't matter." His voice was defeated. Body and soul, he had been conquered. The white flag had been waved.

James' throat was becoming dry. He swallowed several times and spoke again. "You're going to be alright. I will get you away from here."

He stood and scooped Jack into his arms. Jack moaned in pain and snuggled as close as he could to the warm being carrying him.

"James."

"What is it, Jack?"

"Save them."

"Who?"

"The rest of the prisoners. Save them. Kill the soldiers. Kill them."

"Jack, I-"

"Kill them. Please, Jamie."

James thought about the request as he simultaneously tried to remember how he had gotten inside. He strained his ears and eyes for any movement. A few times he had to dash to a darkened area to avoid soldiers and was successful in not being caught. At last, he came to the entrance.

"You're almost free, Jack."

"Save them. Kill them….."

Jack went wholly slack in James' arms as he drowned in unconsciousness.

James treaded to the side of the building, the stars and moonlight slightly illuminating the crew. He made his way to the longboat as the men crowded around him, bombarded him with questions, and reached their hands out for Jack to confirm if he was even alive.

"Give him some room," he finally ordered harshly.

They stepped away and James took a seat in the boat. He cradled Jack to him and met Will's unwavering gaze.

"Kill them, Will," he said in a low, threatening tone. "Kill all of them and rescue the prisoners. We'll get them to safety."

Will shifted his eyes to take in Jack's fragile frame. His jaw clenched and he nodded stiffly.

"Let's take her down," he voiced to the crew.